Tuesday, July 22, 2014

creep curricula accept

In my line of business, there's no better feeling than having a real nice work that you're really satisfied with. (Gregg Allman)

 Homefront & Battlefield: Quilts & Context in the Civil War.A fascinating show that has largely been under the art radar, it tells the story of American slavery through period quilts, fabrics, and textiles. Amid the lavish patriotic quilts, colorful hand-sewn flags, and refined period costumes, a darker and more gruesome story is woven through the exhibition.On the right is a quilt made by Lucinda Ward Honstain of Brooklyn to commemorate the Civil War and chronicle post-war life. The quilt is also the most expensive quilt ever sold at auction, as it fetched $264,000 at Sotheby’s in 1991. Lucinda Ward Honstain (1820-1904), “Reconciliation Quilt” (1867), cotton, appliquéd. (International Quilt Study Center & Museum, University of Nebraska-Lincoln) (photo by the author for Hyperallergic)

New yarn bomb found in Ireland via Facebook-  each little cobblestone has a warm sweater, so pretty!

Today we made a plan to go visit the new Newton Wegman's supermarket.  I wanted Ty to see how cool a supermarket could actually be!  We didn't need any food except for a chicken for the dogs so that's all I planned on buying and told him so.  Well, HA.  He did a bit of impulse shopping that cost me next week's food budget.  Fortunately I had started out with the small cart they offer, rather than the regular one, because he filled it overflowing.  I can barely jam it all into my refrigerator.  He remarked on how nice everybody was, and he should know-  he talked to everybody..

OF course they are 'nice'-  this place was started in Western NY where you can sit at an intersection for a half hour waving at the other cars who are waving at you to go first.  Nobody moves-  they are too NICE to.  So TY started asking everybody we interacted with where they were from and sure enough, they were all from western and central NY state somewhere.  I used to shop in Wegmans when I was trying to help out my aging parents long distance-  would always stop and stock up before getting to their house because I knew the spices in my mom's rack hadn't been touched in 20 years, and anything on the second shelf and above was highly suspect because she couldn't reach that high.  So I have always had a soft spot in my own WNY heart for the place, and was beyond happy we now have one of our own.  Now I have to figure out how to talk them into expanding to Florida, preferably near me.  

  When admiring California-based artist Sam Larson’s artworks, you might think you’re looking at a mostly blank piece of paper. But squint a bit and you’ll see that his illustrations are no larger than a penny!
To prove the size of his works, he places a penny right beside it. His drawings include images of cowboys, bison, lumberjacks, and bears. ‘I gather my inspiration from the American West’, Larson says. ‘I like to get out into the mountains and desert whenever possible’.

 Yes, this is now happening in a Tokyo museum: an interactive exhibition about poop, toilets and all that sort of thing. Even space toilets are featured. A major highlight, as these pictures show, is a giant replica of a flush toilet playground, probably a Toto, where kids wearing turd hats climb on it with the help of a ladder, and then fall in down a slide. Can’t tell if the toilet seat is up or down though…

And a warning to all of you if you see me in a line for anything at all-  change immediately to the other line, ANY other line!  I am the pink bear...

STAY IN QUEUE from Laboratoire Ferdinand Lutz on Vimeo.

And finally a cute little mid-century wooden squirrel pin sent by a reader the other day-  how I wish it didn't have a sold sign on the page, but I can enjoy him here with his little green ball instead.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

handyman pierce lutz

Abstraction is real, probably more real than nature. I prefer to see with closed eyes. (Josef Albers)

We just got back from the Peabody Essex Museum up in Salem where the purpose was to see the Turner exhibit.  But we got there 15 minutes before the next bunch could go into the Chinese House so we also did that. TY loved it-  a house built in 1800 and in the same family for almost 2 centuries.  In 1982 it was sold to the museum and dismantled and reconstructed in it's entirety, including the furnishings, in the museum courtyard.  And the fun thing is we went through it with a young Chinese family who apparently didn't speak much English.  The father would listen to the audio thingy and then tell his wife and little boy what to look at.  After we went through the house we watched the video they made as they reconstructed it tile by tile, board by board.  

The Turner exhibit was very well done-  many Turner seascapes gathered from far and wide and juxtaposed with his contemporaries the he influenced.  As soon as one of the other artists approached his prominence, he would veer off into a new direction so it was fun to follow that.  Personally I didn't get emotionally involved until he very late work which they can't peg as finished or in progress.  It became extremely impressionistic at the end and I fell in love.  To boost my new found appreciation, they had a painting blown up to fill an entire wall, about 30' long and I decided I NEED that wallpaper.  Sand at the floor, sea through the middle, and sky at the top, all visible brushstrokes and soft color blends.  Gorgeous.  

I'm doing something different today-  somehow I started looking at the Islamic marbleizing technique and it led me to more, and then more and different stuff,  And how could I not share with you, my inter web BFFs in cahoots!

Painting on Water (Turkish Ebru))

Simple Suminagashi (Japanese)

Ink and Water technique

Accidental Painting Technique

Acrylic and Shaving Cream  (ICK!  Editorial comment)

But you can use the shaving cream method on fabric too- semi-Ick factor

Poured Acrylics Technique

Norway’s Bergen Public Library has a lovely Flickr album of antique book paper patterns dating from 1890 to 1930, brought to our attention by Slate Vault. While there are plenty of geometric shapes and floral touches, there are also unique designs like a grid of unicorns and fantastic birds, as well as marbled paper.

Whew.  That calls for a squirrel, doesn't it?
Looks like he's eating his chia pet today.

Friday, July 18, 2014

bunyan numb pathos

"For me, art is everything. When I make art I get lost in another world."
—Mosi Clayton, Age 10
Today, with no pressing plans (for a change!), I will go off and do some art peeping at the DeCordova.  They always have a knock out summer show introducing new or emerging New England artists.  I so miss doing the docent thing there but once I started disappearing to Florida I wasn't available for the tours.  I really liked the format-  the docents would be given the artist's bios in advance and then be required to interview them about the work, or their theories, or whatever-  just get information that will transfer to the audience and make the work more understandable for them.  Then we would all get together and share that information as we walked around looking at the art.  So, for each show we had in-depth background about the artists and the work to share.  I guess I was kind of selfish about this-  I really wanted the info myself and in the process wanted to talk and talk and talk about it.  Plus the docent job dovetailed nicely with teaching.  I really miss it.  

Which brings me to doing the same thing here-  checking out artists that might not be very well known, and sharing the information I gather.  Life doesn't change, circumstances do!

Israeli artist Chaim Machlev is a Berlin-based tattoo artist, otherwise known as Dots to Lines. Working primarily with black ink (“I believe that black is the nicest color for tattoos; it is closer to our source than any other color,” he said in a recent interview), Machlev’s designs are complex line-based works that weave across skin with fluid, stunning precision. Incorporating mandalas, insects, and other images into his geometric tattoos, Machlev’s work go beyond simple designs into minimal, extraordinarily detailed works of permanent art. Mary Beth, take note.

Today's 'rule' from James Victore:
Translate this to our medium:  No one crew what your QUILT looks like if your CONTENT is not worth 'reading'

Take your time and see how many references you can find in each image!  Don't neglect backgrounds or looking for the artists themselves!  Amaziing.  Cuban-American artist Cesar Santos thoughtfully blends disparate styles and elements in a series he calls “Syncretism.” Santos’ amalgamations present representations from Renaissance, Modern, Classic, and Contemporary work, all blended together to create a pastiche of imagery. While combining genres, forms, and time periods is not a necessarily unique approach, it is Santos’ execution that is most impressive. Skilled technically in multiple painting styles, Santos is able to render images that appear uncannily similar to their references. Recontextualizing these images demonstrates the evolution of painting techniques while maintaining the universality and persistence of particular themes.

Our squirrel has a hole in his head and seems a bit concerned.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

avoidance bridal embargo

Simultaneous contrast is not just a curious optical phenomenon – it is the very heart of painting. Repeated experiments with adjacent colors will show that any ground subtracts its own hue from the colors which it carries and therefore influences. (Josef Albers)

Nothing much going on, two more hexagons done but I'm still behind quota.  The crew who repairs arid systems was here today driving Molly berserk, and in turn me.  I just hate barking continually.  I don't get it-  she didn't bark at all a few days ago with the guy lying on the floor fixing my refrigerator but these guys on ladders had her going like they broke in!  Off to walk the critters and then get changed to meet Ty for dinner-  I've actually cooked three nights running and deserve somebody else's efforts tonight.   I really need to get out-  the Maylasian airliner went down today and I have to get away from the constant coverage of (so far) nothing but that fact I just said in one sentence.  

I was able to get my friend to break into my house in Florida and get my passport so the Canadian trip just might happen (IF the passport is still valid!  I haven't mentioned my concern about this to TY yet, best not to until I know. I know I'm  due for renewal soon, just hope for me that it lasts through August!)  

Today I'm introducing James Victore to you with a list of concerns mostly relating to typography since he's in advertising and marketing.  But I've found they are points we all need-  just substitute 'quilts' where you need to-

Wowzer...Yarn Bombing Helsinki, Granny Square Afghans on the steps outside Helsinki Cathedral, Finland.  Imagine the run when it's time to take it down!  All those grannies knocking each other asunder trying to grab their squares!  Stay out of Helsinki for awhile.

Augusto Esquivel arranges random buttons into portraits.  From his website:  I realize how insignificant and small a simple sewing button can be as it lays in my grandmother’s sewing box, but at the same time how unique and precious it can become as part of a work of art. Like an atom in a molecule, each button serves and shapes the whole. I hold the button to my ear and it whispers to me, “I want to be…..”

How to embellish just about anything-  by adding crystallization!   Once again the formula used is 3 tablespoons 20 Mule Team Borax (available in any supermarket) to one cup boiling water. Stir to create a supersaturated solution, immerse your object, and walk away. You'll have stunning crystals in less than a day.  The longer you leave it in solution, the larger the crystals grow.

Here we have 'Biscuit' on his skateboard.  He looks a bit concerned here, hope he gained some confidence over time and his training hand (wheels?) was able to let go.  Maybe he is the first skateboarding squirrel on the planet!  You saw him here first.  (Poor little guy, doesn't really know why he's expected to ride a skateboard...)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

ellison discus peach

  • If you learn one thing from having lived through decades of changing views, it is that all predictions are necessarily false. (M. H. Abrams)

  • Incomplete Manifesto   Bruce Mau
    Take field trips. 
    The bandwidth of the world is greater than that of your TV set, or the Internet, or even a totally immersive, interactive, dynamically rendered, object-oriented, real-time, computer graphic–simulated environment.
  • Celebrate, celebrate!  That is the last of the manifesto.  But guess what-  I have somebody else in the wings with more steps to unlocking creativity and improving your work.  We'll start soon.  

Today I got to spend a couple of hours with Mister watching him eat books and do his funny half crawl/ half worm intrepretation.  Maybe he's in practice for break dancing but I guess he has to be able to stand first, but what the hell do I know about a break dancing career?   I grabbed him his first Pantone card pack the other day at the museum so he can pick his colors for next year.  Maybe he will follow his bliss into art and, like his dad, figure out how to make a dime at it.  Or maybe he will just make a living at being cute.
checking his files

taste testing his books

And now a bit o' art of other types:

 It must be at once heartbreaking and cathartic to smash these lovely things to pieces!  But perfection isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be ( pun intended, ha! ).  Instead of collecting dust in a china cabinet or waiting for a buyer in an antique shop, these pieces are given not just a second chance, but are transformed into a completely new object.  May we all be so lucky!
To see more of Sandra Shashou‘s work, please visit her website.

Casa Tomada is a project of traveling installations started in 2007 by Colombian artist Rafael Gómezbarros in which giant sculptures of ants are fixed in swarms on buildings and structures. Self-described as “urban intervention” by Gómezbarros, the ants have been showcased in locations varying from London to Cuba with a very specific goal in mind: shedding light on immigration, forced displacement, and uprooting through historical points of departure for travelers and immigrants. The 2-foot ants themselves are crafted out of tree branches for legs and two joined skull casts made of fiberglass resin and fabric to make up the torso, making for a particularly morbid, visceral depiction of migrant workers in Latin America who are looked at as nothing more than vermin.

I'd fight this guy barehanded for his chocolate...